Welcome and Introduction to Coaching
Welcome! We excited to work with you. Please read this before your first coaching session.
What is Coaching?
Over the past 30 years, coaching has been formally used in organizations to grow leaders and leadership teams. It is a strategic process that aligns individual goals with organizational goals to ensure clients are getting the support they need to meet expectations.
Coaching begins with an assessment phase during which coach and client identify strengths and areas of potential development. Clients gain knowledge and insights into how they are perceived and receive support with relationship building with key stakeholders such as direct reports, peers and their next level leader.
Benefits of Coaching
Increasingly, coaching has proven to be a key method to help leaders realize their leadership potential and, in the process, add immediate and long-term value to the organizations they serve.
Research clearly supports the efficacy of coaching as a method for achieving:
- Increased leadership capability and confidence;
- Increased capability to lead a high performing team;
- Increased motivation, engagement and job satisfaction.
Coaching and Leadership Development
Coaching is an action-oriented process that focuses on positive change and sustained growth. Coaching works best when it is part of an organization’s overall leadership development plan and is tied to strategic goals.
Confidentiality is one of the core ethical standards of coaching.
- During coaching engagements, the client owns the assessment data.
- Even though the next level leader is involved in goal setting and accountability, the client provides updates to their leader with and/or without the coach present.
- The coach can help the client gather input from others, but it is the client’s responsibility to share the information with the next level leader.
Scope and Boundaries of Coaching
There are limits to the coach’s role. It is important for the client and the coach to understand these. Here are two common distinctions that should be clarified.
- Coaching does not include providing guidance on Human Resource processes. The coach will refer the client to HR for support and may consult with HR as needed.
- Coaching is not psychotherapy. At times, the coach may refer the client to the EAP for additional support.
In order to be successful with this approach, the client, the coach and the next level leader meet to:
- Clarify roles.
- Clarify confidentiality.
- Discuss client background and assessments.
- Discuss goals.
- Discuss organizational constraints, supports and resources.
- Agree on measurement, documentation, reporting and evaluation.
Coaching is designed to provide people with a greater capacity to produce results and a greater confidence in their ability to do so. It is intended that the client does not leave coaching with a perception that they need to rely on a coach in order to produce similar results in the future.
However, to strengthen and sustain behavior shifts, it is important to provide ongoing support, either as just-in-time coaching or as scheduled meetings spread out over time.
Client will give 48 hours notice for cancellations directly to the coach. If two appointments are cancelled consecutively, the coach will contact LifeWorks Administrator and time will be deducted from coaching engagement time.
Role of Client
The client will be actively engaged in the process and will help drive the agenda for the coaching sessions. While the coach provides feedback and an objective perspective, the client is responsible for taking the steps to produce the desired results.
- The client understands that he, she, they is/are responsible for their success.
- With the coach’s support, identify resources and strategies for changing behaviors.
- Action steps are agreed upon at each meeting and it is the responsibility of the client to document and move forward with these.
- The client will be willing to ask for feedback or feedforward from peers, other customers and manager.
- The client, along with the next level leader, will identify barriers to success and look for ways to overcome these.
- The client will use the LifeWorks Action Planning document to monitor movement toward goals.
- The client will document and report progress to the next level leader as agreed upon at the beginning of the coaching relationship.
- It’s important to be honest in coaching at all times. The client can say anything to the coach; positive or negative. It is the client’s role to let the coach know if something causes discomfort or if he or she doesn’t want to respond to a question.
Coaches are trained to be excellent listeners, but they have not yet mastered the art of reading minds. The more the client helps create the direction and content of this work, the more the coach can make the adjustments needed in order to help meet goals.
Role of Next Level Leader
The next level leader’s role is critical to the success and sustainability of change in the client and he/she/they contributes to the coaching process by being willing to:
- Openly share concerns and expectations with the coach and the client during the initial goal setting meeting.
- Give input to expected behavioral changes and measurement criteria.
- Look for and expect success from the client.
- Help client identify barriers and remove them as appropriate.
- Provide ongoing feedback that is specific, straightforward and uses first-hand information.
The Coach’s Role
The coach will create an environment of trust, respect, safety, challenge and accountability in order to help create sustained development and movement toward goals.
The coach will be available to:
- Help client identify data that needs to be gathered (360 feedback, interviews, assessments, employee satisfaction results).
- Help client identify areas of strength and areas of development.
- Listen for challenges and help identify goals and strategies.
- Help identify the end result – what success looks like.
- Look for patterns – obstacles to success.
- Help identify resources.
- Help the client create new alternatives and set new standards for behavior.
- Gain commitment for action steps between sessions.
- Keep coaching conversations confidential.
- Continuously assess level of client “coachability” in order to ensure integrity in the process.
Evaluation of Coaching Process
Periodically, the coach will ask for feedback to make sure the client is getting what he or she needs in order to be successful and to check for fit with the coach. An online survey will also be sent at the wrap up of the engagement.
Getting the Most From Coaching
Use Your Coach as a Resource, Not as an Answer
- Your coach has been trained to initiate conversations, share ideas, make requests, clarify your thinking and support your decisions.
- Your coach does not have the answers. But you do.
- Your coach will help you discover them for yourself.
Value Your Coaching Sessions
Athletes, performers and musicians know the value of having a coach on their team to help them grow. No serious athlete or musician expects to progress far without one. They make their coaching sessions a priority – and you must too. Be on time and be fully present (rested, ready to work and willing to stretch) at the pre-arranged time.
Come to the Coaching Call Prepared, with an Agenda
It’s your life. It’s your opportunity. So, get what you want out of each session; don’t wait for the coach to initiate. Come to each session with a list of questions, a concern, or an opportunity you want to discuss.
Keep Yourself Well Between Sessions
You are encouraged to go much further in taking extraordinary care of yourself than you ever have before. Develop daily habits that keep you well. You can work on this with your coach if you like. Coaching can help reduce stress and help you enjoy a better life.
Enjoy Being Coached
Coaching calls aren’t frivolous, social conversations. However, they are meant to be enjoyable and pleasant. You deserve to enjoy your life, now!
Citations on the Benefits of Executive Coaching when combined with Training
Executive Coaching as a Transfer of Training Tool: Effects on Productivity in a Public Agencies, by Geral Olivero, K. Denise Bane, and Richard E. Kopelman, Public Personnel Management, December 1997; vol. 26, 4: pp. 461-469. Edited by Jared J. Llorens, Louisiana State University (Public Personnel Management (PPM) is published specifically for human resource executives and managers in the public sector. Each quarterly edition contains in-depth articles on trends, case studies and the latest research by top human resource scholars and industry experts.)
This action research is the first reported attempt to examine the effects of executive coaching in a public sector municipal agency. Thirty-one managers underwent a conventional managerial training program, which was followed by eight weeks of one-on-one executive coaching. Training increased productivity by 22.4 percent. The coaching, which included: goal setting, collaborative problem solving, practice, feedback, supervisory involvement, evaluation of end-results, and a public presentation, increased productivity by 88.0 percent, a significantly greater gain compared to training alone. Descriptions of procedures, explanations for the results obtained, and suggestions for future research and practice are offered.
Coaching: An International Journal of Theory, Research and Practice, Volume 5, Issue 1, 2012
Participants took part in a 4-hour traditional classroom-based training program, followed by one individual 30-minute phone coaching session with an external coach 3–4 weeks after the training program. The results for the experimental group, when compared to the control group, showed a significant difference in their ability to identify solutions to issues that positively impacted their work to be done, their effectiveness when being criticized, their heightened ability to deal with changing priorities and more effectively dealing with tight deadlines and turning around assignments. The experimental group also showed an increased adeptness for articulating ideas more clearly and concisely when compared to the control group.